Overview

The class action has been commenced in the Supreme Court of NSW on behalf of all persons who are “Class Members” against Suncorp Portfolio Services Limited, as trustee of the Suncorp Master Trust (Suncorp), and also against certain former directors of Suncorp.

The class action seeks compensation (that is, money) in relation to certain fees charged by Suncorp to Class Members’ superannuation account(s) and certain payments made by Suncorp to Financial Services Providers (including financial advisers) from 1 July 2013.

It is not proposed that any financial advisers be sued in the class action.

Who is running the class action?

The class action is being run by William Roberts Lawyers and LCM Operations Pty Ltd (LCM) is funding the case.

William Roberts Lawyers is a leading class action law firm and LCM is a subsidiary of a publicly listed litigation funder, Litigation Capital Management Limited.  LCM has provided funding for a number of class actions that have resulted in successful outcomes for class members.

Am I eligible?

You may be a Class Member and you may be eligible to get money compensation out of the class action if you were a member of a Suncorp Super fund at any point after 1 July 2013 or you received or were entitled to receive the benefits from such a member (eg. a spouse of a member).

How do I register?

If you think you may be eligible to get money compensation out of the class action, you can sign up here. By completing the registration form only, you are not entering into any legal contract.

As part of the sign up process, you will be asked to provide information about your Suncorp Super fund account(s). It will be useful if you have a copy of a recent Suncorp Super statement to hand.

Further information

You may obtain further information about the class action, including if you are a Class Member and eligible to make a claim in the class action by reading the “Frequently Asked Questions” below or visiting William Roberts’ website, writing an email to [email protected] or by calling 02 9552 2111.

Other frequently asked questions

Will it cost anything for me to participate in the class action?

Class Members are not, and will not be, liable for any “out of pocket” legal costs by remaining in this class action. The costs of running it are being picked up at present by LCM and William Roberts Lawyers.

If you choose to sign a funding agreement with LCM and retainer with William Roberts Lawyers, the funding is provided by LCM on a “no win, no pay” basis, in accordance with the terms of the funding agreement and the William Roberts retainer.

If the class action is successful (that is, if money compensation is recovered), the Court will be asked to distribute the legal and funding expenses, from the money recovered, equally among all persons who have benefitted from the class action. The effect of any such order, if made, would be that all Class Members who benefit from the recovery of compensation will contribute an equal percentage of their compensation  to the expenses and pay reasonable litigation funding charges to LCM and William Roberts Lawyers (for legal costs not paid to them by LCM). That means that, if such an order is made, even class members who do not sign up to a funding agreement will be required to contribute out of their share in the same way as those that sign a funding agreement with LCM and a retainer with William Roberts.

If the class action is unsuccessful, Class Members will have no liability for any costs and will not have any obligation to pay anything to either LCM or William Roberts.

LCM agrees to pay any legal costs that might be awarded to Suncorp or any other defendant.

What is Suncorp’s alleged wrongdoing?

The class action involves allegations concerning:

(1)

  • commissions paid to Financial Services Licensees (such as financial advisers) in relation to Suncorp Super products such as, commissions on contributions by members commissions on insurance premiums and others:
  • benefits given to Financial Services Licensee (such as financial advisers) who provided financial product advice, because of the nature of the benefit or the circumstances in which it was given:
    • could reasonably be expected to influence the choice of financial product recommended by the licensee or representative to retail clients; or
    • could reasonably be expected to influence the financial product advice given to retail clients by the licensee or representative,

(All of the above, Conflicted Remuneration); and

(2)           The charging of fees by Suncorp to members which included amounts (Excess Fees) to fund the payment of Conflicted Remuneration.

It is alleged that: (a) Suncorp’s ongoing decision to pay Conflicted Remuneration; (b) each act of paying Conflicted Remuneration; and (c) the charging of Excess Fees to fund the payment of Conflicted Remuneration, after 1 July 2013, were breaches of the duties Suncorp owed to the Class Members under the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (Cth) (SIS Act) and were breaches of the trust deed.

It is also alleged that Suncorp engaged in unconscionable conduct under s 12CB of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (Cth) (ASIC Act), by continuing to pay Conflicted Remuneration and charge the Class Members Excess Fees to fund the payment of Conflicted Remuneration after 1 July 2013.

It is alleged that former Suncorp directors Mr Carroll and Mr Summerhayes were involved in these breaches to the extent that they were directors of Suncorp at the relevant times.

I'm still not sure if I'm a Class Member, can you give me more information?

You may be a class member in the class action if you fall within at least one of the following categories:

  • You were a member of a Suncorp Super fund from 1 July 2013 to 21 June 2019 (inclusive) (Suncorp Super Member);

OR

  • From 1 July 2013 to 21 June 2019 (inclusive) you received payment, or were entitled to receive payment, from all or part of the benefits of a deceased Suncorp Super Member’s interest in their Suncorp Super fund;

OR

  • You were a spouse of a Suncorp Super Member who had rights in respect to that member’s interest in their Suncorp Super fund, and between 1 July 2013 to 21 June 2019 received a transfer from the Suncorp Super Member’s Suncorp Super fund account(s) under the Family Law Act or a superannuation agreement.

If you are unsure whether you are a Class Member, you may contact William Roberts Lawyers or you should seek your own legal advice. The information you provide in the form required to be completed on sign up above may assist in confirming whether you are a Class Member.  You may contact William Roberts by sending an email to [email protected] or calling their offices on 02 9552 2111.

What compensation will be claimed?

The main compensation to be claimed is an amount representing the excess fees charged  to affected Suncorp Super members accounts from 1 July 2013 used to fund the payment of Conflicted Remuneration, plus interest and an order to stop Suncorp continuing to charge its members these excess fees going forwards.

Why should I register?

By registering your details here, William Roberts Lawyers can keep you updated with developments regarding the claim including information regarding any upcoming settlement discussions and if information is received which indicates that you may be entitled to compensation.

Do you know other Suncorp Super members who may be affected?

If you know other Suncorp Super members who may be affected and wish to recover compensation to get their super back, please share a link to this web page with them.